ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays flexed their muscles Wednesday with a franchise record-tying five home runs at Tropicana Field. Unfortunately, they were all solo shots and did not produce enough offense to overcome a tough start for RHP Alex Cobb and another impressive night by Yankees rookie C Gary Sanchez.
Cobb, who has yet to regain his split-change, got four outs and Sanchez drove in four runs with two more homers in the Yankees' 11-5 victory.
"I'm forced to try to get creative with two pitches," Cobb said, "and facing a team that close two times in a row basically is tough to keep tricking them when I know I don't have that third pitch to go to. They're sitting on one of two pitches."
1B Brad Miller led the Rays' home run parade, homering twice to reach 30 for the first time. The Rays also received homers from 3B Evan Longoria (his 36th), LF Corey Dickerson (22nd) and C Bobby Wilson (seventh).
Longoria, Miller and Dickerson went back-to-back-to-back in the third inning against RHP Masahiro Tanaka. It was the third time in team history the Rays homered in three consecutive at-bats. Wilson began the inning with a homer, giving them four in an inning for the first time.
Cobb, making his fourth start since returning from Tommy John surgery, allowed seven runs on nine hits in 11/3 innings. The Yankees beat him with four singles in their three-run first inning. Sanchez's three-run homer was the highlight of the Yankees' four-run second.
"As difficult of a night as it is for me result-wise, I have to look at the big picture and be extremely thankful I'm healthy. No concerns with the elbow," Cobb said. "There's definitely fatigue. I've been throwing for a year at this point and ready for that break."
Sanchez, who beat the Rays on Tuesday with a three-run homer in the seventh off RHP Brad Boxberger, homered in the sixth off LHP Justin Marks. He has six home runs and 12 RBIs in eight games against the Rays.
He is the first player in history to have 19 home runs in his first 45 big-league games.
"We've seen him quite a bit the last couple of weeks," Rays manager Kevin Cash said. "What a talented player, offensively, defensively."
CLUB 30: Miller had 27 career home runs coming into this season. Does his output this year suggest more 30-homer seasons are in his future?
"I think it's tough for anybody to come into the season and anticipate somebody's going to hit 30 home runs," Cash said. "That's such a big number. I think he's proven he's capable of doing it. You look at how he's started the year. To get where he's gotten is pretty impressive."
SURGERY UPDATES: The team announced RF Steven Souza Jr. had successful surgery Wednesday to debride a labral tear and impingement in his left hip.
Souza was placed on the 60-day disabled list to clear room on the 40-man roster for INF Juniel Querecuto, who is expected to join the team today.
1B/DH Logan Morrison's surgery on his left wrist that was scheduled for Wednesday was postponed due to a scheduling conflict with the surgeon.
NOTEWORTHY: UTL Nick Franklin (hamstring) returned to action, pinch-hitting for Wilson in the ninth. … Miller and Longoria are the third set of Rays to have 30 homers in the same season, joining Fred McGriff and Jose Canseco (1999) and Carlos Peña and Longoria (2009).